Prawn Pasta with Wild Garlic

The other day a friend mentioned in passing that the prawn and wild garlic pasta recipe I gave years ago when I wrote a daily after work recipe in The Standard is still a regular favourite and indeed, they were having it that night. To be honest I didn’t remember his description of the dish and because I had no wild garlic, used finely chopped cloves (as he does) instead. Reader it was fantastic, so I am indebted to RS for the reminder. I’ve adapted it very slightly, adding a squeeze of lemon, hint of chilli and fresh coriander (from a pot in the garden), but these new additions are just me wanting to fiddle, putting a new spin on an already perfect storecupboard standby. The prawn prep could be done in advance and kept at the ready in the fridge.

Serves 2
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 12 min

200g spaghetti
1 Romano (pointed) red pepper
2 garlic cloves or
handful wild garlic
200g raw, peeled king prawns
40g butter
splash vegetable oil

optional extras:
pinch dried chilli flakes
handful coriander
squeeze lemon or lime

I reckon all the preparation can be done while the spaghetti cooks, then left in its cooking water and drained when the super-fast prawn cooking is done. So, cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions; probably about 12 minutes. Halve the pepper lengthways, discard seeds, stalk and white filament and slice in thin strips then across into tiny dice. Rinse. Peel and finely chop the garlic or rinse wild garlic. Unfurl the prawns and halve lengthways – this means they share evenly through the pasta and cook very quickly. Melt most of the butter in the vegetable oil in a spacious frying/sauté pan over a medium heat. Stir in pepper and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes. Add chilli, if using, and prawns. Keep stirring as the prawns turn pink. Drain the pasta and off the heat, fold into the prawns, add coarsely chopped coriander, remaining butter and squeeze of lemon or lime (if using). Toss well. That’s it folks.